3. Regional imbalance is as much a byproduct of development as it is of non-development. Analyse the statement. (15 marks)
Directives: Although most of you understood the question, the treatment given to it was not satisfactory. Most of the answers were written with a GS perspective. Whenever UPSC asks such questions, there are more chances of you getting swayed by the generic nature of the question. Here, you were required to deal at different levels. At a global level, you could start with the example of industrial development which created pockets of prosperity surrounded by hinterlands of poverty and destitution. This imbalance occurred between the industrial powers and their colonies and also within the industrialized countries. Moving on you could have provided the examples of North America and the analysis of the asymmetry of development between its east and west coast in the initial days. Examples could also be cited for China where development was concentrated more towards coastal east while the mainland was deprived of the fruits of development. In this question a reference to Perroux’s Growth Pole and its inherent limitations could have added depth to the answer.
At the second level i.e. taking India as a reference, n number of examples could be provided, which most of you have done already. What was absent however was the analysis of the failure of our regional planning strategies. The question is only a modified form of the larger issue of regional planning strategies and their limitations.
Few answers dealt very systematically by creating separate heads for agriculture, industries, infrastructure, education etc. That is the right approach to follow.
Please incorporate maps for this question. For example, railroad density could be shown on the outline map to express the lopsided growth of railway network of India. You have to think in terms of maps. From now on, we expect at least one map in each question. Think innovatively.
4. Critically examine the suitability of globalisation as a means to curb regional imbalance. (25 marks)
Directives: Points in favour of globalization.
Globalization as a vehicle to end oppression through diffusion of new information and provider of new opportunities.
Globalization challenges age old cultural narratives that have since time immemorial shackled the potential of human agency in different parts of the world.
Globalization as a means to prevent fragmented unmanageable world.
Globalization as means to prevent unfair competition and selective participation.
Globalization as a means to extend the fruits of civilization to the deprived regions.
Globalization as a means to promote competition, privatization and deregulation
Points in favour regionalism and restoration of regional communities:
Globalization imposes uniformity and doesn’t respect cultural diversity
Globalization itself has created regional imbalances and associated problems of slavery, colonialism and exploitation
Overemphasis on inclusion distracts the attention from improvement
Globalization has created a sense of insecurity amongst many sections of the population which curbs their potential to perform
Exposure to unfair competition and crony capitalism.
Examples could be cited from around the world for both the aspects and for each point.
5. Sustainable regional development is a question whether to choose affluence or effluence, economy or environment and also consumption or environmental quality. Discuss. (25 marks)
Directives: A very simple question it is. But answering simple questions is more difficult than answering the tough ones. The treatment meted out to this particular question by some of you was quite impressive. However, majority answers were very general. Geography essence was missing from most of them. Examples act like pillars to your answers. Lack of examples in such questions makes it look like a philosophical monologue. We are not providing any pointers for this. Just keep in mind the syllabus of geography when you answer a question of this variety.